'Naked scanners': Lobbyists join the war on terror

The degradations of passing through full-body scanners that provide naked pictures of you to Transportation Security Administration agents may not mean that the terrorists have won -- but they do mark victories for a few politically connected high-tech companies and their revolving-door lobbyists. Full Story »

Posted by Walter Cox - via Jeremy Caplan (t), Tobie Openshaw (f)
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Posted by: Posted by Walter Cox - Nov 13, 2010 - 5:23 PM PST
Content Type: Article
Edit Lock: This story can be edited
Edited by: Jon Mitchell - Nov 14, 2010 - 9:40 AM PST
Jon Mitchell
3.7
by Jon Mitchell - Nov. 14, 2010

Though the language is sharply opinionated, the analysis is quite factual and in-depth. It is one-sided, so I have reclassified it as opinion, but the factual claims here demand to be answered by those who advocate for this screening process.

Personally, I will never submit to irradiation in order to get on an airplane, and in the interest of not upsetting the poorly trained TSA agents, I will allow them to briefly grope me, if it will get me through security. They have gone way too far, though. At what point will the odds of dying of degenerative diseases caused by full-body scanners outweigh the odds of dying on an airplane in a terrorist attack? I am thrilled to see this getting so much media attention, and I hope it ... More »

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Walter Cox
4.3
by Walter Cox - Nov. 14, 2010

An informative article that details exactly who benefits from the recent addition of whole-body backscatter X-ray scanners at airports nationwide--L3 Communications, Rapiscan, and American Science and Engineering. Each company employs lobbyists who are well-connected Washington insiders. This piece puts the civil liberties/security balance in perspective, and it casts light on the dubious benefits of this new technology. The article could have benefited from information about the significant health hazards associated with routine exposure to whole-body backscatter X-ray scanning devices (see link).

What is next--body cavity searches? Really that is all that is left. To treat routine travelers as criminals and suspected terrorists is, in itself, criminal. If Americans do not develop sufficient spine to resist this tyranny, we have lost the right to call ourselves "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

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Ellie Kesselman
3.9
by Ellie Kesselman - Nov. 13, 2010

Due to my own curiosity, I've done a bit of due diligence reading about the "full body" scanners (manufacturers, technology and safety of the radiation exposure). Consequently, I can confirm that this is very accurate and factual reporting. The piece was original and informative, as it revealed the connection between L-3 and Rapiscan to (different but significant) lobbying "campaigns", of which I was unaware until today.

I'm unconvinced that the radiation exposure, cost and digitally recorded imaging is worth the incremental benefit to TSA measures for passenger safety that are already in place. My opinion: pat down by a TSA worker, even if "very intimate" as the article states, is preferable to a full-body scan because: 1) no radiation exposure 2) no digitally recorded image to be subject to who knows what redistribution and affront to personal dignity. At least a frisk search limits the exposure ... More »

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  • For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance

    In part because of the back-scatter imager's invasiveness, the TSA is allowing passengers to choose instead a pat-down.
    Posted by Ellie Kesselman
  • UCSF Scientists Detail Health Risks of Whole-Body Scanners Queued

    Lets fight for our Medical security